“Conflict is inevitable, but combat is optional.” – Max Lucado
Working in an organization can bring conflicts and disturb the mental health of colleagues and harmony between people of different ideologies. Most managers or Human Resource Managers find it a taxing job to resolve disputes between their subordinates or employees of their organization, as the case may be.
Some managers may be naturally good at bringing out effective solutions in their team, but others may need to learn effective Conflict Management skills and drive their organization successfully. Indeed, the capability of future leaders to manage conflicts is a key skill, which requires explicit conflict management training.
Conflicts can result in “high-tension events” due to a few “toxic personalities” in the organization. A research paper published by the NCBI states that “In a survey of 5,000 full-time employees in nine different countries, 85% of employees dealt with conflict at work to some degree and 29% dealt with conflict frequently or always.”
In this post, we share some of the effective Conflict Management strategies vital to running an organization successfully.
What is Conflict Management?
The process of identifying disagreements between two or more stakeholders and resolving them is called Conflict Management. The primary purpose of the entire process is to weed out all the factors contributing to conflict. It is essential that everyone is satisfied, to some extent, at the end of the conflict’s discussion or resolution.
Let us understand the different cases that generally arise during conflict amongst persons at the workplace.
Conflict in leadership
It is one of the most troublesome scenes when there is a “Clash of Titans.” Organizations that have multiple disciplines and different levels of management, it is evident that there are frequent conflicts amongst the leaders. It is mainly believed to be a clash of egos and is a complicated scenario to reach any conclusion. Unaddressed cases can create a lot of confusion and result in a lack of productivity. In SMEs, the managers’ role is pivotal in such cases, as the business may face a significant setback.
Inter-dependent working environment
An organization cannot work if every person thinks that they can use it in isolation. Teamwork is critical, and no one can do without having the team’s support, without achieving the common business goals and targets. Many employees simply work to achieve their personal goals and set aside the main goals that the company targets. There may be a decrease in the stakeholder’s assets due to a few employees’ interests in such cases.
For example, in a software development company, Jane from the Development Team may not be convinced with Sara’s ideas from the Design Team. The common goal of the employees is to work for the client’s project. In such cases of conflicting views, the manager plays a crucial role by sorting out the clashes and coming to a common conclusion to drive the client’s project successfully.
Lack of Accommodating Nature
Many people believe that their working style is the best, and no one performs better than them. It is hard to accept that everyone has a different working style, even in conventional industries. Some prefer to work as a lone wolf, while others believe in taking the whole team along, and act as a “King Maker.” Some people can work continuously for long hours, while some prefer to take intermittent breaks and gain bursts of intense energy. This leads to clashes between the two team-mates due to misunderstanding and causes a lack of acceptance for each other’s nature. To resolve such scenarios, the managers must make both the employees understand and convince them to work in camaraderie.
Wrong perception of everyone’s personality
Everyone has a different perception of a person or work culture. This is also a common reason for conflict in an organization. Every person has unique personality traits and needs to understand this about the colleagues as well.
For Example, George is a fun-loving guy and creates a cheerful atmosphere whenever he in the office. Whereas, his team-mate Tom is a sincere and introvert guy. Both have different personality traits and contribute in the best possible way to the company’s growth. It is a common observation that other employees may develop a different perception of the two of them and try to create team differences. But, it may not be suitable for the team’s healthy working spirit.
Conflict Management Strategies
Considering the different scenarios mentioned above, we can look towards implementing various effective conflict management strategies that can be used accordingly.
- Resolving the matter privately
- Actively listening during the conflict
- Accommodating views
- Collaborative effort
- The competitive attitude of Managers
After reading this post, you must have developed a lot of knowledge on Conflict Management. Implementing the theoretical knowledge into the practical scenario will help in resolving issues between the actual conflicting personalities. I am sure the exact situation can be much more challenging, and you may need to use a blend of all the knowledge you have gained so far. Conflict Management Techniques from this blog and your experience will help you become an ace manager in your organization.